Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to release the iPhone 5S, the next generation version of its flagship smartphone, at a special media event on Sept. 10, according to a new report.
Although the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has been profiting from the iPhone, the rise of low-cost Android devices, as well as the growing popularity of Samsung (KRX:005935) handsets have given the iPhone a run for its money. The company’s global smartphone market share also has continued to dip, which, according to many in the tech world, can partly be attributed to the lack of a new product launch for almost a year.
Now, if a report from All Things D is to be believed, Apple is finally on track to introduce a new iPhone, and will hold an event to unveil the handset on Sept. 10, one day before the IFA consumer electronics trade show ends in Berlin. The IFA 2013, which is scheduled to take place from Sept. 6 to Sept. 11, is also expected to showcase Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and HTC’s (TPE:2498) One Max.
The All Things D report corresponds to previous speculations, based on Apple’s fourth-quarter guidance, that the company will release the iPhone 5S in September. It is also interesting to note that the Sept. 10 release date of the iPhone 5S indicates Apple’s inclination toward Tuesdays for introducing a new iPhone -- the company launched both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S on Tuesdays.
As far as the exclusive new feature is concerned, a trait which is seen in every new iPhone launch, this year’s iPhone 5S is expected to include a built-in fingerprint sensor embedded into the Home button, which, according to latest reports, would be made out of sapphire and have a slightly convex shape. The button is currently made of plastic.
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Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst, said in a research note, obtained by MacRumors, that the new convex home button on the iPhone 5S would allow more room for the fingerprint sensor without losing internal space.
“We think that a fingerprint sensor will be placed under the home button of iPhone 5S,” Ku said in the note. “However, assembling it could be difficult as the space under home button is limited as it already has to accommodate the Lightning connector, speaker and microphone. Thus, we think the shape of the home button could be changed from concave to convex to create more space for a fingerprint sensor.”
Kuo also said that Apple is using sapphire, a material with a hardness rating second only to that of a diamond's, to produce the home button as it will make the component scratch-resistant and protect the fingerprint sensor embedded within.
Given that Apple typically releases its iOS updates along with a new iPhone, the upcoming iPhone 5S is confirmed to be running the redesigned iOS 7, which has been in testing since the company announced it at its annual developer conference in June. The new iOS 7 will support the iPhone 4 or later, the iPad 2 or later and the fifth-generation iPod touch, Apple said.
According to All Things D, it also will be interesting to see if Apple introduces the rumored low-cost iPhone, dubbed the “iPhone 5C,” adopting “a new tactic to address the mid-range of the smartphone market.”
Apple generally targets the mid-range segment by offering older iPhone models at a discounted price, which is $100-$200 less than a new iPhone. But, ongoing rumors have it that Apple will debut a less expensive iPhone 5C this time to replace older iPhone models as the company’s entry level iPhone.